The vast majority of Foodies100 bloggers want to work with brands.
And by and large, this is a positive experience. We love testing new ingredients, visiting new restaurants, trying out new kitchen gadgets and meeting with fellow bloggers.
But over and over again, we see our members voicing the same frustrations about brands, SEO agencies and PR agencies.
We understand there are frustrations on both sides, but we hope that sharing some of our most commonly heard comments about blog outreach will be useful to our PR and marketing readers. Please feel free to add your thoughts in the comment section – how could brands make the blog outreach process easier and more productive for you? Do you think there are things BLOGGERS can do to help themselves?
- We talk to each other and share information. So if you are paying bloggers different rates for the same work (or not paying someone) we will probably get to hear about it.
- Bloggers know you’re being paid to contact us (it’s not a secret) so don’t be surprised if a blogger also wants to be paid.
- Asking a blogger to review a PDF of a book can seem insulting – certainly, it’s nice to have something tangible as a reward when we go to the effort of reviewing something.
- We don’t think that your client giving us “exposure” is a substitute for being properly compensated for our work.
- We don’t all insist on being paid for EVERY activity – we’ll often do things without a payment because they sound like really good fun.
- Please understand that for many bloggers, this is not a full-time job. Chasing coverage two days after sending a sample is unlikely to end well.
- If you are under pressure to deliver coverage quickly then tell us when you send a sample – by and large we’re a helpful bunch and will let you know before accepting if we can meet your requirement.
- Bloggers will rarely welcome pre-written articles and content – by and large, we’re not sort of things to write about.
- We love running competitions and giveaways but they take time to put together. Offering a second prize for the blogger as a thanks is a much-appreciated gesture.
- If a blogger is running a competition don’t send the prize to the blogger and expect them to send it to the winner – postage is expensive and nobody wants to waste their lunch hour queueing at the Post Office.
- We know that social media follows have a real value, and brands have a digital budget, if you want us to secure new followers/likes as part of a competition, we may well ask for payment.
- Use less packaging! Bloggers receive a crazy amount of post, and so much is packed in non-recyclable, non-biodegradable packaking – it’s hugely wasteful and rather depressing.
- We love surprises, but if you send a blogger something unsolicited, be prepared for the fact that they may not review it, for all sorts of reasons.
- If you are considering working with a blog, we aren’t offended when you ask for stats or a media pack to show your client.
- Please spend some time reading our blogs so you can personalise your approach – you’d be surprised how often meat retailers will pitch a vegetarian blog!
- Emails starting with “Dear Blogger” don’t create the best first impression.
- Bloggers love to take part in challenges and competitions but it really has to be worth our while – expecting us to compete for the chance to win a £50 ironing board isn’t going to fire up our creative juices!
- Don’t email telling me you loved my recipe for [insert link from other site]. We understand mistakes happen, but do take care when using mail merge!
- Don’t ask bloggers to compromise their ethics. Asking a blogger to only post positive content, or to not mention a payment is potentially damaging to the blogger, your client and your agency. See also point 1 – bloggers will tell other bloggers when this sort of thing happens.
- The vast majority of bloggers are very well versed in guidelines from the ASA and OFT, as well as Google’s terms and conditions. Don’t assume you can fudge the issue of disclosure by telling bloggers they don’t need to know this stuff.
What would you add to this list?
(This post was partly written by Helen at Fuss Free Flavours)